Marketing Mafia

Experiment with Farmers

We were so worried for the Farmers protest was happening few years back. and wanted to something for them. It was with this idea in mind that we from decided to perform another social experiment of sorts in collaboration with Hotel Prasan Sandeepha, situated in Madipakkam, Chennai.

When people think of the source of food, their thoughts usually stop at their nearest, or most convenient grocery store. And their choices end with the simple ‘which variety of rice/ lentils is the tastiest and most economical maybe?’ How often do we think of where food actually originates? About how it has to be farmed, grown, taken care of like a child until it is harvested, and then stored, and finally sold wholesale before it reaches the local grocery stores in fancy packages? When you go to a hotel, your concentration is simply on the various items listed in the menu, and how they are presented/priced. What would happen if one day, you walk into a hotel, to see an actual farmer who has taken part in the process of manually growing the rice you eat? When we approached Hotel Prasan Sandeepha with this guerrilla marketing idea, it was with good grace that the owners themselves agreed to take part in this.

They even organised a scheme where 5 percent from the proceeds of their bills for a day would go to a family of farmers who were in need of help. MYTH #8 CAN’T DO SOCIAL EXPERIMENTS 55 Whenever we hear stories of farmers that come to us via the news media, we only hear tales of sadness, loans, drought, flooding, suicides, mass deaths due to famine, and a complete lack of support or value worthiness for their goods that take weeks and months to produce. Why not approach the same farmers as people, and show the other side of farming, that of bounty, growth and the struggles that bear fruit? The team from explained this angle of farmers and farming to the patrons of the restaurant.

We explained how farmers are not synonymous with only deaths and droughts, but are also the greatest inspirations and the backbones of the food production chain in this country. The idea was simple: if the patrons were interested, we had a family of farmers brought in to explain their side of the story, and why it matters to have the proceeds from the bill go to them, and how much it would help them invest in farming, not to mention bettering their livelihood. This cost effective outlier marketing idea brought a realisation for us: No matter how citybred people seem, some of us do not forget our roots and where we began.

It was with such high emotions that we witnessed a family of patrons actually relating with the farmers who had explained their story, getting emotional and praising their efforts, remembering their own times as farmers in the villages before they migrated. Watering the roots was a simple exercise that showed us that just one generation ago we were a land of farmers, and we still have that inside our hearts and souls. While our minds have gone in search of more lucrative or profitable works, every man and woman of this land would feel connected to the simple pleasure of their foot on the farmlands’ wet earth. This cause was close to our heart, and to see our farmers treated with respect bordering on veneration by the patrons of the restaurant gave us the necessary boost and the belief that it takes very little for us to reclaim our heritage and culture, for it lurks just under the surface. An overall emotional moment that showed the power of touching on one’s ancestry.